Meditation Basics

Published on October 8, 2019 – Last Updated on March 29, 2022

Our modern world can seem jammed to overflowing with stress and chaos. It seems that phones chirp and ring at all hours of the day or night—the lines between work, home, and school blur and fade. As a result, voices rise, and health suffers.

Meditation is the answer.

Meditation has been treasured by nearly every culture throughout history. Each religion has its style of meditation. The benefits of meditation raise the body, mind, and spirit.

So just what is meditation all about, and how does it help?

Meditation Basics

Simply put, meditation is the act of being still. It is about taking in a long, deep breath and observing the world without judging. We often get wrapped up in all the pains of the past or all the future worries. But the past is gone and beyond our reach to change. The future is unknowable. The only one moment we have a presence in is the now. We are here. We can impact this one moment before us.

With meditation, we learn to examine our thoughts and the world with compassion and understanding. We know to explore the notion that we are not our thoughts. We have opinions, and they come and go, but they do not control us. They do not define us.

If something happens and we feel anger, that is all right. It is an emotion we feel. But why do we feel the anger? Rather than judge, we gently accept that the feeling has come. We strive to understand the situation better.

This practice and flexibility with thoughts and observations strengthen the brain. It builds our resilience. It lowers our stress. It helps us see that the world is constantly changing. It is continuously altering and flowing, and cycling. Yet, we are simply one part of the greater whole throughout that all.

Styles of Meditation

Just as there is a myriad of cultures worldwide, so too are there a variety of meditation styles to choose from. Each of us is different. Some of us enjoy the peace and serenity of a forest clearing’s babbling brook, while others would much prefer a walk along an ocean beach. Some would like a woman’s voice guiding us on a virtual trip, while others would do best with pure silence.

Meditation wonders that you can try each one out to see which personally connects best with you. Even better, it could be that the ideal meditation for you on weekends is a walking meditation at a local nature preserve. At the same time, you do best with a musical meditation in a room drifting with incense during the week. So each type of meditation teaches you differently.

Benefits of Meditation

Whichever style you choose for a given session, all forms of meditation bring a wealth of health benefits for you. This includes:

  • Lowering blood pressure
  • Improving memory
  • Releasing stress
  • Clarifying thoughts
  • Better sleep
  • Enhanced immune system
  • And much, much more

Best of all, these benefits are all wholly free with no harmful side effects. Even just a few minutes a day can bring measurable results. The more you practice each day, the more full and rich are the carry-over energies and foundational calm.

Meditation isn’t a new-fangled guinea-pig-test technique. It’s been tried and true for thousands of years. It’s been highly recommended by traditional religions and serious scientists alike. Whether you’re nine or ninety-nine, there are incredible benefits to be gained by practicing meditation, even just for five minutes a day. Start with five minutes meditation. See where it brings you. You’ll find that it is just the first step toward a new, better you.